Mustrum Ridcully bust

Archchancellor Mustrum Ridcully is my favourite Discworld character. This shouldn't new to people who have been reading this blog a bit longer - there's two character build versions of him, first one posted just days after PTerry's death as the first Discworld character build (There's around 20 so far). I've also built a vignette where Ridcully discovers the bathroom designed by Bloody Mad Johnson in Hogfather. So logical next step was a bust, right? Actually, I've made a ceramic bust of Ridcully in around same size some three years earlier. And this brick version originates from autumn 2016 when I had just moved away from my parents to Tampere. The face and the beard were build at that time, with too small hat brim. Half-completed Ridcully looked down to my two previous apartments from his place on top of a Billy shelf. When I moved together with Pinja in November, one of my new home goals was to get rid of some of my dust-collecting WIP either by breaking them to pieces or, in better alternative, actually finishing them.

Ridcully bust had some bits I was very happy about, especially the eyes and the nose, so giving up didn't feel like an option. I had made some little tweaks on it a year earlier, switching in some 1x1 quarter round tiles with great effect, but otherwise it had been as I left it in 2016. I took it to my building table where it lay for couple of weeks and got pushed over by cats a few times. Then one weekend morning I took it and worked with it couple of days and da-dah, it was finished. It's a large build, and quite heavy, but a very interesting too. I haven't worked in this scale before.

The look of Ridcully is based on Paul Kidby's drawings. He draws very cool beard to Mustrum, a one that is combed away from the face in very round shape, completed with a darker bushy moustache and goatee that reflects his straightforward and non-nonsense personality well. So here the beard itself has no patterns at all - it's just smooth, flat surface with round borders. I think it might wake some controversy. Beards definitely have a patter after all. But in other hand, I didn't have any ideas for rugged and hairy patterns in this scale, and I wanted to avoid sort of visual noise to keep the focus in the facial features and stern expression. The details are concentrated on specific areas - face, waistcoat details and the hand-tied flies stuck in his hat.

The hat is large and heavy, but stays together quite well. Ridcully has his personally designed hat (he doesn't wear the official Archchancellor's hat that keeps talking) with plenty of tricks and gimmicks, and I had to ditch some of them. The hat doesn't turn into a tent, which was always a bit unbelievable; Magic might have been involved. There is neither pistol bow stuck in the band, due to same visual noise issues; I wanted the shape to be clear and simple. But there are the flies, three of them, and they're quite different - one of them looks like a dragonfly and other uses a scorpion as its base. There are two opening drawers though, and they include some stamps, extra hooks and even a very small crystal ball (Ridcully is described having one of those in his hat). The pointy point is somewhat removable to be used as a drinking horn, but I doubt it's waterproof; The edges are just hinged.

There is a slight curve on the brim, as it consists mainly of 1x2 bricks. It's not pure 1x2 bricks curve, as the edged have some longer parts, but it gives some life to the overall build. The organic shape is also used on the shoulders, I'm rather happy with them. The base is black and quite simple, with some girder pieces inside the support the weigh. The waistcoat detail that uses old flag pieces is a nod towards character builds of Ridcully and their red-and-pearl-gold ornamental waistcoats.

This is the first Discworld build for something like one-and-half years. It's quite surprising. I've still big Discworld fan, of course, but somehow I haven't managed to complete any build about it. As a little spoiler, I have a WIP of Death, but I'm an ambitious builder and I'm going to build Binky on the same go, so it might take a while. Before that, I've got three models already photographed. And many more to come.


The Teeth of Flagrant Pass

 New year, new trimester, new intensive course of urban planning for Bachelor's degree and new MOCs to public. Well, with new I mean it's mostly built in September and finished in early December. This character, a robber baroness called the Teeth of Flagrant Pass, is a LUGBULK experimental creation. Other build of this subtype include Dwarvish Dragonguard from 2016. Here from LUGBULK are the numerous macaroni tube pieces, already seen on SOAR-SWIFT IV, bar-on-1x1 round plates on elbow and ankle joints and several connection points (for example, hip and shoulder armour and kneecap spikes). Lot of black baby bows are from the order, too.

The main idea was just a sleek black armour with a skirt made of macaroni bricks. It was monochrome black at first, but white, tooth-like barbs were added later for contrast and menace. The shoulder armour was almost samurai-like, but the entirety was more inspired by some angel and vampire armours for Magic the Gathering's Innistrad art and it's Gothic fantasy motifs.

the work began with the upper legs, which are the usual current standard variant, and the torso, which interesting, almost octopus-like chest armour is almost hidden. The waistline is quite low, which emphasizes the upper body muscles; the armour is shaped to be very thigh-fitting. I'm very happy how the hip armour completely hides the joints while still retaining some mobility to the hip joint. It's connected via 1x1 round plate with bar on side, which is located just behind the black nexo-shield. The shoulder armour is connected to a ball joint in the end of that same piece, and the ball joint connects to 1x2 plate modified with two vertical clips; old and fairly weak connection but mobile and comes in larger variety in colours that the colour-blocked bley mixel sockets. The shoulder pads have plenty of mobility and don't limit the upper arm posing barely at all. The help to define the silhouette of the character, while the white barbs balance the contrasts with the ones on the hips.

The arms are quite regular, and the lower arms are close to those on RADIANT-EXERT IV. The new tricks are used on the elbow joint, which is asymmetrical and uses the aforementioned round-plate-bar-piece. Basically the movement is those pieces spinning on their studs and antistuds. It works alright on elbow, if the character don't have too heavy things at hand, but it was far too weak to knee, where it was replaced by traditional symmetrical TECHNIC hole on stud joint. It's bit of a bummer, as the long bar is a nice way to connect further, and bars with TECHNIC holes on sides don't really exist, except for the odd but useful two-hole variant, the flick-fire-missile launcher.

The legs underwent a change on the knees, but the ankles were tricky too. Usually such bits are done using ball joints, but as small sockets don't exist in black and large ones would have been too blocky, I tried a different approach: enough rotating joints to make the movement ball-joint-like. So the lowermost joint dips forward, a jarvis between the plates, and the next one goes round horizontal, the 3x3 dish on jarvis's antistud, and the third one dips to sides, the aforementioned round plate in bar (thank gods for its round shape, makes it so much versatile). And therefore the legs can be spread a little for more lively stances and the feet don't look unnatural.

I wanted to make a large helmet that covers most of the head; the green eyes add a bit of colour to otherwise quite monochromatic composition. There is no hair visible, for a change; but there are some headdress gadget, a pair of bat wings and sort of locks with horns on the ends to add another shapes of white. They modify the silhouette a bit, along with the Piraka feet on the back; they were the final addition, actually put there along with the lantern couple of months after rest of the build was finished. They are sort of a reference to much older build, a warrior called Gortrund. A matching sword was made using a dragon or bat wing as the blade - it looks nicely menacing and fittingly bit ridiculous. The bat cross on the pommel is an old trick by Moko, taken from his Brickshelf gallery ten years earlier.

The next two build will be very old projects finished after our moving to get rids of some WIPs. But there are couple of other finished build too, and several under construction.